Judoka heading to Rio 2016 will have the final chance to lay down a marker in Tyumen ©IJF

Judoka have the final chance to lay down a marker ahead of next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro during the International Judo Federation (IJF) Tyumen Grand Slam.

The competition at the Athletic Center in the Russian city, which is due to start tomorrow, is the last opportunity for those competing at Rio 2016 to hone their preparations for the Olympics, with judo action scheduled for August 6 to 12 at the Carioca Arena 2.

Judo will set a new Olympic participation record at Rio 2016 with 389 judoka from 136 nations braced to take part, surpassing London 2012, which featured 135 countries and 387 athletes.

IJF sports director Armen Bagdasarov announced during yesterday’s draw for the event that a total of 124 athletes from 25 countries will compete in Siberia.

A number of those athletes due to represent their country at the Olympics will be present in Tyumen for the third Grand Slam of the year, including Britain’s Natalie Powell, who is the top seed in the under 78 kilograms category.

World Judo Masters bronze medallist Marcus Nyman of Sweden, who participates in the men’s under 90kg division, is also set to take to the mat at the event.

Nyman will also be seeded for the Olympic Games and he will be hoping to continue his excellent run of form in Tyumen after he won a bronze medal at the European Championships and gold at the Baku Grand Slam.

Sweden's Marcus Nyman is among the top names taking part in the IJF Grand Prix in Tyumen ©Getty Images
Sweden's Marcus Nyman is among the top names taking part in the IJF Grand Prix in Tyumen ©Getty Images

The men’s under 81kg will be a category to keep an eye on for the home supporters as Alan Khubetsov could come up against compatriot Ivan Vorobev, a bronze medallist at the 2013 World Championships.

Japan are likely to be one of the best represented countries as they have sent an 18-strong team to Tyumen.

Several of their competitors are considered rising stars and will be aiming to get another international event under their belts in order to be in best possible shape for Tokyo 2020.

“It is a pleasure to welcome you to Tyumen for the final stop before Rio 2016,” Mohamed Meridja, IJF education and coaching director, said.

“Our President Marius Vizer would like to convey his best wishes to you all and I wish you a lot of luck."

Action at the Tyumen Grand Slam is due to begin tomorrow, with gold medals on offer in the women’s under 48kg, under 52kg, under 57kg, and under 63kg, as well as the men’s under 60kg, under 66kg and under 73kg.

Click here to watch the latest judo action on Judo TV.